May 29, 2002
As the World Trade Center came down, Carlyle's fortunes went up

John Judge sent out a link to an article in Red Herring about the Carlyle Group, which says that the group had gathered for a meeting on Sept. 11 and watched the attack on the World Trade Center together. As the towers went down, the article says, the group's fortunes went up. It goes into some detail describing how the company, whose members include George Bush Sr., James Baker (the big mouthpiece in the seizure of the White House after the Republicans lost the election of 2000), and Osama bin Laden's "estranged family", will make huge money from the War on Terrorism. The article describes how the Carlyle group is involved in a kind of predatory capitalism that feeds on mass death and freely uses its political connections to play geopolitical games that funnel ever greater portions of the world's recources into its income ledgers.

The gathering of the group on Sept. 11, on the day of the event that was to be such a great windfall for Carlyle happened, was "mere coincidence," the article stresses. The rest of the article, however, really raises that question, whether the writer or editor wanted to or not.

That disclaimer (about "a mere coincidence") stands out from the rest of the text, as if it had been inserted by an editor. Of course it could have been put in by the writer himself, employing the internalized censor. But it's one of those sentences that sticks out as a contradiction of most of what the article is saying. It's almost like a religious dogma, a red flag that says: "Look the other way now! Don't conclude the obvious!" But surely a lot of people, maybe even one out of 10 or 20 who reads it will see the pattern, and go forward to the inescapable proposition. If the Bush clique in fact is benefitting, is it possible that they had anything to do with the fact that it happened?

Means, motive and opportunity are all certainly present. What then makes most Americans so reluctant to entertain that possibility?

It can easily be demonstrated that the means was very much within the grasp of the high-level players we are talking about. The remote control technology that pilots the CIA drone planes from the ground is obviously sufficient to create the incident of Sept. 11. The power to order investigating agencies to hold back, and to order military defendors to stand down is also within the power of this group. There is no argument about whether it is possible that the Bush clique had the means to cause or to allow the catastrophe. It is clear in hindsight that the group, including the Carlyle Group and the Bush II administration itself, has benefitted tremendously. There is little argument against that.

The point at which most Americans dismiss the idea is on a human level. It is monstrous to think American leaders could allow thousands of their countrymen to be savagely murdered in order to further some political or economic objectives. It is too painful, too outrageous to even contemplate. Is this, then, justification for dismissing the possibility?

This, unfortunately, has plenty of historical precedents as well. One striking example is Operation Northwoods, in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Kennedy proposed terrorist attacks on U.S. cities as a way of provoking Americans to support a war against Cuba. Fortunately that administration rejected the idea. But we know from Robert S. McNamara's own biography that he continued his part in sending Americans to die in Vietnam long after he knew the whole thing was a mistake and nothing good could come of it. In Anthony Summer's biography of Nixon The Arrogance of Power, Summers establishes convincingly that presidential candidate Nixon actually carried out a secret plan to thwart Johnson's peace negotiations. According to Summers, Nixon succeeded in derailing the peace talks that would have damaged his chances to win the election if they had succeeded. The list of such precedents is rather long. Yes, American officials can very definitely allow thousands of their countrymen to be butchered for a political agenda. Indeed, they have many times.

Even if it was a mere coincidence that the Carlyle Group had gathered together to watch the spectacle on September 11, there is no justification for them using their government connections to make fortunes from wars created by their families and friends. That fact alone should outrage many of the people who read the article.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe there is a paradigm shift rippling through America about these issues. Americans are changing the way they think about big corporations and their excessive influence over government. People are talking about things that were practically unheard of 10 years ago, like fascism, corporate welfare, class warfare. Now these terms are becoming part of common parlance.

Though the mass media seems more tightly controlled than ever, an alternative public discourse is developing through the Internet. Alternative views are surfacing in books like Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men," a runaway bestseller that represents a radical view the polls don't detect. Such events as the Rolling Thunder Tour will create forums for people to meet face to face and to realize that those who oppose the Bush agenda are the majority, and the wishes of the majority are very different from how they are portrayed on the corporate media.

This shift in perception could reach a critical mass at which point it crystallizes like the frost on a glass pane that breaks into glorious, intricate patterns all catalyzed by a single particle of dust. Whether or not the catalyzation occurs or whether it is effectively suppressed remains to be seen. But there is an electrifying potential in the atmosphere. America could be on the verge of a new social revolution that will be so powerful it will sweep out the old power brokers through a nonviolent democratic tidal wave.

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